With all the time we’re spending at home these days, there’s a greater focus on keeping our water and food supplies safe from coronavirus. Grocery shopping is an essential activity, but unless you’re careful, experts say you can still bring coronavirus home from the store.
Ten South Bay area high school students were honored for their winning photos at the March 11 Sweetwater Authority Governing Board meeting.
Nearly 100 students from Sweetwater’s service area entered its annual water photo contest, which challenges students to showcase the importance of water in everyday life through photography. Students submitted photos in two categories.
The following students took the top honors:
Color Photo Category:
1st Place, “Blessed Stream,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10
2nd Place, “Pouring Out,” Stephanie Mauricio, Sweetwater High School, Grade 12
3rd Place, “Running River Water,” Erick Gallardo II, Sweetwater High School, Grade 11
Honorable Mention, “An Apple a Day,” Jaliyah Journigan, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11
Honorable Mention, “Aqueous Perspective,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10
Honorable Mention, “Sun + Splash,” Kaitlyn Vu, Hilltop High School, Grade 11
Black & White Category:
1st Place, “Last Glass,” Tiffany Mayoral, Hilltop High School, Grade 11
2nd Place, “Daily Utilities,” Carlos Guerrero, Sweetwater High School, Grade 9
3rd Place, “Thirsty Tom,” Valeria Cano, Chula Vista High School, Grade 12
Honorable Mention, “My Memories,” and “Less Developed Countries,” Rosa Marquez, Chula Vista High School, Grade 10
Honorable Mention, “Drying Off,” Katherine Ochoa, Bonita Vista High School, Grade 11
Honorable Mention, “Floating,” Zabrina Urness, Sweetwater High School, Grade 10
All winning photos will be on display at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center beginning in April.
Water plays a lead role in the state’s political theater, with Democrats and Republicans polarized, farmers often fighting environmentalists and cities pitted against rural communities. Rivers are overallocated through sloppy water accounting. Groundwater has dwindled as farmers overdraw aquifers. Many communities lack safe drinking water. Native Americans want almost-extinct salmon runs revived. There is talk, too, of new water projects, including a massive new tunnel costing billions of dollars.
The Otay Water District named eight winners of its first Instagram photo contests, asking customers to depict two distinct themes.
In the first contest, four Otay Water District customers were selected winners of the agency’s first Instagram photo contest, “Thankful for Water.” During the 2019 holiday season, Instagrammers were invited to submit photos reflecting their appreciation for water.
A state water board is faulting the city of Poway for “failing to protect its public water system” and is ordering the municipality to take immediate action to correct a series of violations that led to a week-long boil-water advisory. In a letter that accompanied the official citation, the State Water Resources Control Board said Poway “failed to provide pure, wholesome, healthful and potable water by delivering untreated storm drain water to customers”. The agency also criticized city officials for making comments to the media that confused or worsened the situation, which resulted in nearly 50,000 people being told not to drink their tap water and forced the closure of nearly 200 food-related businesses between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6.
In what will be the first time a public space has been powered by electricity made from poo, The Number Two Tavern is launching for a limited time in The Light, Leeds from 7th until 9th November.
The company is holding its first ever carbon week to spread the word and share knowledge about how we can all reduce our carbon footprint.
The power for The Number Two Tavern is coming from a ground-breaking process, called “anaerobic digestion,” which converts waste into biogas that can be used to generate heat and electricity. Yorkshire Water has charged a Hybrid Power battery with the poo-power, which is being created at Yorkshire Water’s Knostrop Recycling Centre.
Last winter was a bountiful one in terms of water supply for California, but it’s still too early to tell whether 2020 will be as generous.
The 2018-19 winter was one for the record books, with above-average precipitation. Snow continued to fall in late-spring, with several inches or more in the Sierra Nevada and the Southern California mountains.
Ski seasons were extended into May and June, delighting skiers and resort operators.
The snowfall, and a boost from late-season storms, increased the northern Sierra snowpack in May 2019, which was “atypical,” according to Alexi Schnell, water resources specialist with the San Diego County Water Authority.
The statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack was 164% of normal, with the northern Sierra at 172% of normal on May 23, 2019.
Water Year 2020 begins with robust reservoir storage
The 2019 water year (October 1 – September 30) pushed snowpack levels well-above average and swelled major reservoirs to above-average. There were more than 30 atmospheric rivers, with many making landfall in Northern California. The state’s snowpack on April 1 was 175% of average.
The California Department of Water Resources said that makes a great start to 2020.
“We start the new water year in a good place,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the DWR. “However, we all know too well that California’s weather and precipitation are highly variable. What we have today could be gone tomorrow.”
Water Year 2020 begins with robust reservoir storage in California, boosting water supply. @sdcwa Water Resources Specialist Alexi Schnell says last season was “atypical.” https://t.co/oCsKHYN4yf #cawater #reservoir #WaterSupply #cawx #climate pic.twitter.com/31XzMskS9r
— San Diego County Water Authority (@sdcwa) November 8, 2019
Above average rainfall in San Diego
While the biggest gains in precipitation over the past year were in Northern California, the San Diego region also benefited. Water Year 2019 ended with the region at 125% of average rainfall at Lindbergh Field. The rainfall helped increase supplies in regional reservoirs.
Schnell cautioned that the climatological cycle in California can bring several consecutive years of drought, like the 2015-17 period, which prompted mandatory water-use reductions statewide.
Above-average temperatures in California in 2019
NOAA reported on November 6 that California experienced above-average to much-above-average temperatures from January through October 2019. The average U.S. temperature during that same period was 55.5°F, (0.5 of a degree above 20th-century average) “ranking in the warmest third of the record,” according to NOAA.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, or CW3E, just released an analysis that calculated the odds of water year 2020 reaching 100% of water year normal precipitation totals. The odds range from 20 to 40% of the Southwest reaching 100% of water year normal precipitation.
National Weather Service seasonal outlook for precipitation
The three-month seasonal precipitation outlook for November-December-January by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center shows below-normal to normal precipitation in Central to Northern California and equal chances of below, near- or above-normal in southern California and much of the Southwest.
“There will always be fluctuations based on weather and other factors, but the San Diego region continues to embrace water-use efficiency,” said Schnell. “The Water Authority and its 24 member agencies continue to increase San Diego County’s water supply reliability through supply diversification to provide a safe, reliable water supply to the region.”
Water is life. It is essential to the survival of all living things and has been at the center of my work for over three decades as a public servant. I did not select this cause arbitrarily, but because our communities were suffering, and no one was speaking out about safe, clean water supplies for residents of the San Gabriel Valley and greater east Los Angeles County.